Every sales job is different. Skills vary depending on the industry, position, market – the list goes on and on. With 14.5 million sales jobs in the U.S., it’s safe to assume that each has its own unique job description and requirements
To recruit the best talent, HR and sales have to work together to make sure the right person fills the right job. But, for most companies, sales reps and HR staff don’t commingle. Sure, they might pass each other in the hall or share lunch in the break room, but when it comes to working, both teams tend to do their own thing.
To find top talent and reach new revenue goals, HR and sales have to work together. Here’s how:
- Sales reps must explain their job
Any HR employee can whip up a cookie cutter job description for a sales position, but it won’t help the company much. HR needs a clear understanding of the role being filled and how that job relates to others in order to source, attract and hire the right candidate.
Sales reps have to explain their roles, the process, and the skills needed to do each job. With a clear understanding of how the team works, HR can create more descriptive and accurate job postings, search for talent in specific areas, and conduct interviews that are relevant to the job opening.
As sales reps explain their role, HR must take an active interest. This exercise is about collaboration with the result leading to more qualified sales applicants.
- HR should re-access internal skills
When there’s an opening in sales, maybe the right person for the job is already working for the company. Promoting from within makes a lot of sense for many companies since employees are already familiar with the company, its culture and how things work.
Sometimes there’s an obvious choice for an internal promotion, and it makes for a smooth transition. Sometimes, however, the best candidate isn’t so obvious.
It’s important for HR to conduct regular audits of internal skills. By asking interested parties to take a simple assessment test, HR can see if a current employee should be shifted to a new role.
- HR and sales should set and celebrate milestones together
HR and sales shouldn’t just work together when there’s a position open, it should be an ongoing effort. To promote a more collaborative environment, the two departments should celebrate milestones together.
For example, a lot of sales teams host a sales kickoff each year as a way to get the year started. A sales kickoff party takes some planning. You’ll likely have a few speakers, a recap of sales goals, maybe a motivational talk or breakout sessions to discuss new strategies. While a sales kickoff might seem like a “sales thing,” it’s the perfect event to invite HR staff to. They’ll get a better understanding of what the department does and what it takes to meet sales goals each year.
Meanwhile, HR might consider coordinating anniversary parties for both internal employees and sales staff. When the HR supervisor hits 10 years at the company, for example, celebrate in the break room with a cake, and vise versa when a sales employee reaches a milestone anniversary.
The idea is to create an environment where both HR and sales cohabitate. Whether you’re hosting a sales kickoff, celebrating anniversaries, or going to lunch once a month, figure out a way to get the two departments together on a consistent basis.
Creating this kind of work environment will make things easier when it’s time to hire a new sales rep.
- HR and sales should create the onboarding process together
The first day of a new job is always a bit daunting. There’s a ton of paperwork, a bunch of new faces, a hierarchy to learn – it’s a lot.
When you’re onboarding a new sales rep, it’s important to have a plan. Again, sales and HR should work together and create a schedule that works.
HR will handle talks of compensation, benefits and vacation time, while the sales team should handle product demonstrations and strategic sales processes.
The two departments should offer input on how to create the best onboarding process and create a program that wows the new recruit.
After the onboarding process is complete, be sure to collect feedback so you can continue to make improvements for future hires.
To succeed in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, the HR team and the sales team have to work together. With a better understanding of roles and open lines of communication, sales and HR can help the company reach new goals and pull in more revenue.